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Isles' Michael Grabner signs with Austrian club

The New York Islanders' Michael Grabner will return to the team he played for as a youth, Villacher SV, as the NHL lockout continues.

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders will play for his hometown club during the NHL Lockout, as he will return to Austria to play for Villacher SV.

Grabner, who was born in Villach, started his career with VSV's junior team when he was only 15, recording ten points in 13 games in the 2002-03 season. The next year, the right-winger began playing with the team's senior club, and a year later, he came to North America to play for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL.

This past year was the 24-year-old's third year in the NHL and second with the Islanders. He had a dropoff in production this past season after scoring 34 goals in 2010-11, as he only mustered 32 points for the Islanders. He becomes the sixth Islander to sign overseas during the lockout, including Mark Streit and John Tavares, both with Bern in the Swiss league, and Lubomir Visnovsky, who is with Slovan in the KHL.